Completion time and submission review


I have a question to approvals, rejections and returns.

The submissions of participants, who complete a study exceptionally fast - 3 standard deviations below the mean - may be rejected. The researchers would ideally check the submission and reward the participants within 24-48 hours after they have completed the study (see Approvals, rejections & returns – Prolific).

I am looking to recruit 100 participants. I can calculate the mean and the standard deviations of the speed accurately only after all participants completed the study. It could take more than 48 hours before it happens… I think 24-48 hours is not realistic.

How do you see this? Do I misunderstand something?

Thank you,


The 24-48 hours is ideal for the participants; i.e. they will know the outcome of their participation as soon as possible. The hard limit for the researcher is 21 days (copied from Prolific’s page). No need to stress yourself to complete it in 48 hours.
‘‘You have a maximum of 21 days to review submissions. If you haven’t reviewed submissions after 21 days, our system will automatically approve all submissions that are [awaiting review].’’

Other ways to deal with that would be: 1) Do a pilot prior to collecting your data, with ‘good/reliable’ participants (e.g. colleagues who do not know your study, friends, etc ) and get your mean/sd of the completion time from that sample. Thus, when you start collecting data, you will be able (in all probability) to tell if a participant is way off. 2) Don’t collect all of your data at once; break it down into smaller groups. This way you will examine the data quality of fewer participants at a time.
Personally, I use both. Run a pilot to get an idea of what to expect and also break a big data collection into a couple of rounds (but don’t break it down too much).

Hope this helps. All the best with your study.